Eric Thomas: Around The Leagues
By Eric Thomas
It’s been a slow sports week. All Star break is slow anyway, and this year MLB added a day off. Sure the players get an extra day of rest but those of us in sports media have been searching for water in a vast desert.
There really isn’t a whole lot to write a blog about. There is, however, some information that I could put into short form and tape it together. So I am going to steal Ryan Wooley’s ‘Weekly Winners’ segment. I am at least going admit the theft and rename it.
Now presenting my: ‘Hebdomadal Hits!’
Start with the obvious: Why does baseball go away for a week in the summer? (For the comments section: I understand that it isn’t exactly seven days. I also understand that by saying ‘week’ I am the dumbest person that has ever lived, like ever ever ever, and there should be an informal federal investigation by military tribunal who, without hearing evidence, sentences me to death by hanging, followed by evisceration, followed by a generation of being read the comments from the emerging and seemingly 24 hour media aesthetics that inhabit comment sections.) What’s the deal? If you are a sport that demands my attention for 162 games at a minimum, could you at least not mess up my routine. I have railed against the ineptitude of the Tigers for almost two months and I miss them terribly. They need to hurry back so that I can get back to being frustrated with them.
Kobe Bryant says that this year’s Olympic team could beat the original Dream Team. The Dream Team won games by 60 point margins. Plenty people point out that the competition has gotten much stiffer in the years since, but those people are out of their minds. The Dream Team were playing other Olympic athletes not a couple of octogenarians on oxygen carted from a VFW hall. They were playing Olympians and winning by 60. No one watched those games because they were boring in ways that the English language can’t describe. It was like watching a faucet drip. The only thing interesting was watching them laugh on the bench. You tend to do well when your PG is Magic, SG is Mike, F is Bird, PF is Charles Barkley and C is Patrick Ewing. Just thinking about that starting line-up is amazing. The Dream Team is the greatest team ever assembled, period. That includes the 72 Dolphins, the 02 Red Wings, the Avengers, the Justice League and all of Chuck Norris’ assembled limbs.
Terrell Owens might go to jail for failing to pay his child support. Now we know why the man has been so desperately trying to get a gig in the NFL. Because is child support payments are $5,000 a month. A MONTH. How is that even possible? How can it cost $5000 a month to raise a child? Does the kid live in his or her own apartment? I totally understand that Terrell needs to take care of the kid, but $5000 a month is lunacy. Athletes eventually run out of money because their bodies can’t last forever. The man hasn’t played in a year, why can’t they adjust the child support? I understand that the mother had absolutely nothing to do with the creation of the child, and she has absolutely no options whatsoever in this country where women are not allowed to work. Still, $5000 a month is a ridiculous.
I hate Dwight Howard. Every time I see him on TV it reminds me of everything I have grown to hate in the NBA. I know that everyone says he is awesome, but every time I watch him he sucks. The guy has no shooting range, he kicks everything out to the perimeter, and he is lousy at the foul line. People bring up the ‘hack-a-shaq’ with Howard, but that is a totally false equivalence. Shaq averaged nearly 30 points a game, while Howard hovers in the low 20 range. Dwight Howard will get you boards but he will destroy your team in the process. He has been openly shopping himself to other teams for the last TWO years. Finally he signs a contract this year to end the speculation, then back to shopping again. He came into the league saying he would use his game to ‘spread the Christian message’. He did that by getting his coach fired, putting his team in constant upheaval, and suing the mother of his child twice. The Houston Rockets are dumb enough to invite this cancer into their locker room? Go for it.
Drew Brees signs for $100 million. Good for him and the Saints. They should hand him the checkbook. That franchise was more hapless than the Lions before he showed up. I remember Lions fans looking down on the Aints before they got Brees. Now they are a perennial championship contender, and Brees himself could be the best QB in the game. I couldn’t believe that the contract discussions got as heated as they did. With the swirl of death around the franchise, they needed their star player inked. Good for them.